Bolivia in View
In thrall to ideas about cinema as a universal language, we forget rather easily that film culture is strongly molded by the position of the viewer. To follow the teaching of Pierre Bourdieu (1984), for example, this positioning is the effect of the many factors that contribute to the social determination of taste. But then we must add that, at the same time, it is everywhere underpinned by corporate control of the channels of distribution. With the Hollywood majors controlling in many countries as much as nine-tenths of the screens, there is little room in the multiplexes for anything other than the big-budget commercial movie and a smattering of independent films with high enough “production values” (a simplification, I grant, but broadly true). Seen from the perspective of London, for instance, the Latin American fiction film fares only a little better than documentary. Every year a small number of movies from Asia, Africa, and Latin America win awards at international film festivals and get taken up by smaller art house distributors, where they join the ranks of the auteurs. Documentaries hardly get a look in. As a result, despite the great shifts that are taking place in global communications, the nonfictional representation on the screens of the metropolis of countries in the periphery is almost never produced by filmmakers from the countries in question. The very language of geopolitics is changing as the countries of old established capitalism are confronted by the growing economic strength of former peripheral countries.
KeywordsIndigenous People Latin American Country Indigenous Culture Peripheral Country Visual Rhythm
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